Shabbos was very nice. The previous week Seth went to shul, but I didn't, and while he was there, our friend Ellen extended an invitation to us to stay this Shabbos with her. She has five kids, but two are in Israel, and two were going to be away. She often extends invitations to us when she will be relatively childless so that she won't be alone for Shabbos. We truly enjoy her company and her hospitality is always overwhelmingly open, so we rarely turn her down. Plus, it's nice to have a 3 block walk to shul instead of a 2 and a half mile walk to shul. :)
Friday night it was raining when we lit candles so I skipped shul (so did Seth). I didn't want to get my sheitel drenched and Seth was just tired. Actually, I can't remember what Seth's excuse was. Ellen uses oil and wicks to light for Shabbos, rather than candles, and I love them. She gets the floating wicks from Israel (well, her daughters bring them back for her)...I wish I could find them here. Sigh. One more reason to visit Eretz Yisroel.
Anyway, we stayed back at the house and played Mancala for a while. Mancala is an interesting game to me because it's an ancient African game. Though it's very simple, I love playing a game with that much history.
When Ellen and her daughter (and a friend of her daughter's who was staying for Shabbos as well) returned from shul, we had a lovely dinner, just the five of us. (Matzoh Ball Soup, two kinds of chicken, green beans, roasted potatoes, and, er, probably some other stuff, including other veggies, plus cookies and brownies for dessert) I was very proud of myself...I ate mostly veggies, most of one small piece of chicken and only one itty bitty potato. Of course, I had two pieces of Challah, but hey. I'm typically a very carb-oriented person. I eat veggies for sure, but I do love my carbs. Especially potatoes. And I really need to curb that (eventually I'll write an entry on this, but the bottom line is that I'm insulin-resistant, though not diabetic, and I'd like to not become diabetic). So it was so good that I was able to avoid filling up on carbs.
Ellen and I stayed up talking quite late after dinner. I love chatting with her because she's so easy to talk to and she's led such an interesting life. She has four girls and a boy ranging in age from 11 to 21 (the boy is stuck in the middle at 16), she's a doctor, a baal teshuva, a divorcee,extremely intelligent, and a generally nifty person. She has a lot of interesting insight and perspective into people, so she brings a lot into a conversation.
Saturday I woke early before anyone else, but ended up being the last to wander down to shul. Normally I go to shul on the early side when I'm there (I'm typically one of the first women to show up), but I didn't arrive until after the Haftorah portion. I did make it in time for the Rav's talk, though, so that made me happy.
After lunch (more green beans, leftover chicken, chickpea salad that I made and spaghetti squash that I made, green salad, and a Mediterranean red pepper salad...and again I ate very few carbs...mostly I had salad and green beans...go me!), Seth, Ellen and I chatted for a bit before we all wandered off for a nap. I didn't sleep long because the girls were running around, but I did get enough of a nap in that I was able to get through the day (I don't usually take a nap, but it had been a long week). At 4:15, Ellen and I went to a women's shiur on davening, leaving Seth to his nap. At 5:15 the shiur ended and we went around the corner for a Shabbos Kallah (a gathering for a bride the Shabbos prior to her wedding, in this case the wedding was on Sunday). Then at 6:30, I left Ellen at the Shabbos Kallah as Alida and I went to a Seudah Shlishit with probably 10 or so young couples. I met up with Seth there. Seth didn't make it to mincha because he'd not woken up until 6:30, so he was there by the time Alida and I arrived at the house. This was good because by the time Seth and I had eaten, I was well past my social ability... three events in a row was a bit much. We walked back to Ellen's and arrived just as Shabbos was ending. So we made Havdalah, packed up our bags and drove home.
Then we went to a movie. Just the two of us. :) It was a great weekend.
(Today was pretty uneventful....Seth worked and I did very little with the day except for washing my sheitel which was somewhat comical but worked out well in the end)
Oh, and while we were there, Ellen extended an invitation to us for Rosh Hashana, which I thought was very nice and extremely generous of her. We, of course, accepted. This is particularly relevant to bodnej... I'm sorry, but it looks like I can't save you from Sheila this year. :( Hopefully next year we'll have our own place in Woodside so we won't need to stay with people for holidays, and I can return to hosting people. I really do much prefer having an open house for guests.